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Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 09/06/2011

McCaul, Issa top list of wealthiest members of Congress

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) (Harry Hamburg - AP)
Two Republican House members are at the top of the list of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a four-term House member, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, lead The Hill’s annual list of the wealthiest lawmakers.

McCaul, whose father-in-law founded Clear Channel Communications, has a net worth of $287 million, while Issa, who founded the country’s largest auto security system manufacturer, has a net worth of $220 million, according to The Hill.

Last year, McCaul was ranked fifth-wealthiest while Issa was ranked No. 2. The wealthiest member on last year’s list – Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) – has slipped to No. 3 this year, with a net worth of $193 million.

Overall, 32 Republicans and 18 Democrats made the list.

As The Hill notes, the estimates for lawmakers’ net worth skew conservative, as congressional financial disclosure forms only require members to list a range for their assets and liabilities, not a precise figure; the newspaper used the lowest value in each range.

Despite the lagging economy, the threshold for making it on the list of the 50 wealthiest members actually increased by nearly a million dollars over the past year. In 2010, the 50th-wealthiest lawmaker was Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), with a net worth of $5.4 million. This year, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) ranks 50th, with a $6.2 million net worth.

While House Republican freshmen make up about 16 percent of Congress, they comprise 20 percent of the wealthiest members of Congress – 10 House GOP freshmen make the Top 50 list. The richest House Republican freshman is Rep. Jim Renacci (Ohio). One freshman Democrat, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), also is on the list.

For the full list, click here.

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By  |  11:47 AM ET, 09/06/2011

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